Back with another heater is the breakbeat badman from Finland. If his last release was a grab bag of assorted flavors to give us a taste of something we might not typically choose on our own, then this one is that favorite dessert that’s oooooh so good that we can’t say no. Yep, Fanu delivers a selection of tunes that’s exactly what you’d expect from someone with a catalog chock full of mind bending break choppage and some of the best drum processing on the planet. This is the “Truth & Lies EP” brought to us by the Finnish label Straight Up Breakbeat, and it’s a welcome return to everything we know and love about the jungle sound.
About the tunes
In proper form, the lead single “Truth & Lies” co-produced with Infader pulls no punches. The drum hits are crisp and purposeful, the atmosphere is foreboding, and the basslines are full range. Wait for the drop on this one, because once it pops it just doesn’t stop. With hints of influence from pioneering artists like Biostacis, this one is bound to tug a little bit at your desire for nostalgia while keeping things fresh and modern. Fanu flexes his sample digging skills once again, while the rolling bass dances around the tactful drum break edits to make this one a high-stakes adventure that you’ll definitely want to repeat.
“Gone But Not Forgotten” relaxes the pace a bit, giving us a dose of chill vibes offset with a bit more detail in the drum work. If the first tune was a nod to the early days of tech step, this one takes us back just a bit further with a healthy helping of melodic vocals, uplifting synth and pad sounds, and just enough sample and drum edits to satiate the appetite of practically any discerning junglist. The drum work really shines when everything drops out but the bass and the break. Heck, they don’t call it drum & bass for nothing.
Don’t get to comfortable, remember this is Fanu we’re talking about and he’s definitely not a one trick pony. In comes “Famen” with a return to the darker tech step sound, adding a bit more aggression compared to the opening track. This one trades out the heavy chops for some sneaky break switches, going into full-on soundtrack mode with heavy saturation on the bass and vocal samples lighting the path ahead. Better check your bass bins after this one, they’re sure to get a workout.
We end this session with the tune “Mental Aerobics”, a breath of fresh air after our trip to the edge of darkness. Taking a slight detour along the broad path that is drum & bass, Fanu gives yet another example of how to flex on various styles while staying true to his unique sounds and structure. Going a bit more experimental with the drum arrangement, he leverages a wide range of synth and bass sounds to create a well rounded exercise in modern leftfield jungle with a little spoonful of trip hop for good measure.
With a catalog as diverse as his, there’s no denying that Fanu is a master of his craft and a staple of the broken beat side of drum & bass. With the release of this “Truth & Lies EP” he adds yet another notch to his undisputable junglist card, and you’d do well to add this one to your collection, too.
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